Sunday April 15th started off as what would be the perfect weather day. And Mother Nature didn’t fail to deliver, with a bright Sunny day and temperatures in North NJ in the Mid 70s. It felt very welcoming after a string of a few cold days. Why is this important? Because, Electric Vehicles; or EVs, run better when the ambient temperature is above 65 degrees. We had the perfect weather scenario for an EV Meet hosted by our friend and very first BMW ActiveE customer, Tom Moloughney.
Tom played host at his Montclair NJ restaurant; Bella Nauna’s. What he expected as a turn out and what the reality would be were two different things. He expected around 35 total cars. But thanks to the power of Social Media and a few well placed announcements, he saw many more show up.
So we thought it would be the perfect day for us to take our very own JMK BMW ActiveE demo out for a drive and let it spend some time with its siblings. This would probably be the first time this many BMW ActiveE would be gathered together since they left the port of entry in Jersey City NJ.
The sight of so many BMW ActiveE all lined up together was a sight to behold. Since the ActiveE only came in Alpine white with Pearl leather, they all looked the same. But the personalized touches of each owner shows just how different each vehicle could be.
EV owners are amongst the most passionate owners of an already passionate group of BMW owners. And as I found out soon enough, they love to talk for hours about their participation in the BMW ActiveE field trial.
To document these amazing owner’s stories was BMW with a film crew. Taking the time to setup an interview tent, most owners took their turn sharing their individual stories on camera. These stories will be used by BMW to showcase the impact their ActiveE has had in their daily lifestyle as well as their driving habits. These video short stories will be useful in future ad campaigns for the up coming BMWi cars, the i3 and the i8.
The BMW ActiveE was clearly the dominant representation at the EV meet, but by no means was it the only EV to show up. Also on hand was Michael and Pamela Thwaite with their Tesla Roadster. Also BMW ActiveE owners and EV advocates, Michael and Pamela take turns as to who gets to drive each car on any particular day. The Tesla was the first EV powered roadster that brought real fun to driving an EV.
Also participating in the day’s events, were a few GM Volt owners as well as Mitsubishi MiEV and Nissan Leaf drivers. The Volt isn’t a pure electric vehicle however as it has an internal combustion engine that not only powers the lithium ion batteries when they drop below a certain state of charge, but the engine also drives the front wheels when the battery is completely discharged.
The Mitsubishi MiEV and the Nissan Leaf however are true electric vehicles.
After having driven the BMW ActiveE for a few months, I can attest that the BMW is very much like its 1 series coupe sibling. The handling is what you would expect of a sporting coupe and the power delivery from the electric motor is robust, efficient, and provides all the power you would need for the 110 mile range it is capable of traveling on a full charge.
And take this time to say thank you to Tom Moloughney and Bella Nauna’s for being such great hosts. And if you’re ever in the Montclair area, stop in and have a bite to eat, their Italian cuisine is superb!
-Manny Antunes, Twitter: @M5Manny